Margarita magic

KAPAA — On Saturday, a friend and I were driving around Kapaa, trying to find somewhere to eat before heading to a Halloween party.

Our first choice was closed, so we were at a loss for where to go. Usually, I’d just find somewhere else, but my friend is gluten-free and vegan, and there are only a handful of places she can eat.

She suggested Mariachi’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine, and my first question was, “Can you eat there?”

She said she wasn’t sure, but would make do. I think her plan was to fill up on chips and salsa if there wasn’t anything else on the menu.

Turns out, there’s a section dedicated to veggie dishes, and she had her pick of four meals. She ordered the tacos de vegetal, which consists for two soft corn tortillas filled with sauteed vegetables and black beans.

Since I am fortunate enough to not have any dietary restrictions, I ordered the quesadilla ranchera, which is a flour tortilla with chicken and cheese and topped with ranchero sauce, sour cream and guacamole.

The quesadilla was huge; it took up my entire plate. It was exactly what I needed to fuel up before a night of dancing at the Kapaa Neighborhood Center.

But what is going to a Mexican dinner without ordering a margarita? At Mariachi’s, it’s not a matter of if you want a margarita, it’s a matter of choosing what flavor you want. Those of age get their pick of strawberry, midori melon, purple, avocado, mango and an assortment of other flavored margaritas.

After perusing the drink menu, we decided to order a pitcher of mango margarita on the rocks. A few minutes later, a large pitcher filled to the brim with an orange concoction was placed at our table.

At first, I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to drink it. But, after three glasses each, the pitcher was empty. A pitcher of margaritas at Mariachis’s is $32. It was worth it.

Now, margaritas are not my usual drink of choice. I prefer rum to tequila, and usually only drink margaritas when I’m at a Mexican restaurant. I also exclusively order strawberry. But I will say Mariachi’s may have changed my mind about margaritas. It was smooth and flavorful, and I only tasted the tequila when we reached the bottom of the pitcher.

Mariachi’s has two locations — one in Lihue and one in Kapaa. The Kapaa location is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, it is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Lihue spot is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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